Monday, October 8, 2012

Commemorative Railway Cars, Prototype and Models

While researching the breast cancer awareness rolling stock on North American railways, I came across some photos of Model Railroader magazine’s special anniversary cars (60th, 70th and 75th). And, just as with the WSOR breast cancer awareness car, nothing is sacred when it comes to graffiti—those cars, too, were tagged.

Here’s what the 70th anniversary car looked like new, courtesy of Model Railroader:

Here's what it looked like earlier this year, when it was photographed by Thundertrain:

Here's the 70th anniversary car when new:

And in 2009, prior to its being scrapped (Again, from Thundertrain):

I could only find a new photo of the 60th anniversary boxcar online (courtesy, again, of Model Railroader):

I do have a model of it, though; it fits perfectly into my 1990-95 time frame:

Here in Canada, Canadian Railway Modeller (Canada's only model railroad magazine) doesn't have the kind of pull that Model Railroader does, but it did make some commemorative cars and a container for its first, 5th and 10th anniversaries. (One day I have to assemble those kits . . . )
There is a long history of commemorative model railway cars. Many (all?) NMRA conventions have  made or do make them; I have only collected one, from the 1983 NMRA convention in Winnipeg. (I bought it much later at a flea market, as a keepsake; that convention was instrumental in helping me return to the hobby.)

It's hard to believe that this Model Power car once was the height of modelling for cylindrical hoppers! Like many other Canadian modellers, I once had a fleet of these cars; thank goodness that InterMountain came along to provide something much, much better.


  1. Hi John,

    Interesting post on the theme cars. I've heard of other modellers who collect scale theme cars.

    Regarding the 1983 Wpg car, I too have one, and pre-IM (of which I own zero) we ran whole trains of the MP cars. Sixth photo in this post:


  2. Hi John, I have one of those 1983 NMRA cars. The Model Power cars definitely look like junk compared to more modern grain cars.

  3. I bought a second-hand HO 25th anniversary (1934-1959) Model Railroader box car a few years ago, minus trucks and couplers. It was apparently made by Mantua. I was checking to see if anyone had made one for the 50th or 75th.